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Lansing and Taft families papers

Identifier: 00058

Scope and Content

The collection documents through correspondence, diaries, and financial records, the activity of four people over three generations. These papers span the years 1838 to 1917, with most of the material falling in the periods of 1838-1845 and 1881-1917. The 1845-1881 gap is due to the absence of a generation of records.

The records of Elijah M. Lansing (1838-1845) relate to the 6th Regiment, 5th Brigade of the Michigan Militia (Washtenaw Guards). The incoming letters include a request to join the guards, a letter concerning the Officer's Rendezvous, and an invitation to the Washtenaw Guards 3rd Annual Ball. The constitution, muster rolls, and company orders recount the militia's purpose, duties, and members.

Frank M. Lansing's personal papers (1886-1916) are composed mostly of diaries and notebooks. The diaries, though not often complete for each year, briefly relate his daily business and social activities. His notebook of 1901 includes some biographical data, and the autograph book provides picture stamps of himself as well as his Eastman College of Business classmates. Among his business records (1886-1917) are found ledgers from the Howell Steam Laundry and the Lansing Insurance Agency which provide a detailed record of cash received, cash paid out, policy holders and payments, payments for laborers, and some personal expenses. Also, on the envelope containing the Eastman College of Business banknotes is a listing of several addresses for his dry goods business (1886).

The papers of Rosadel Taft Lansing (1883-1890s) consist of memorabilia.

The personal papers of Daniel Owen Taft (1887-1901) contain correspondence to and from family, friends, and two eviction notices to tenants living on some of his property. His farm records (1881-1911) include ledgers which list produce transactions, laborer's hours and wages, price listings of crops, and Taft's personal expenses. Also found in the back of the 1881-1895 ledger is genealogical information on Taft's family. The manuscript maps of the three townships surrounding his home give the location of his neighbors' property and his land holdings.


  • Creation: 1838 - 1917

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

The Lansing and Taft families papers are the product of four individuals: Elijah M. Lansing, Frank M. Lansing, Rosadel Taft Lansing, and Daniel Owen Taft.

Elijah M. Lansing resided in or near the town of Pittsfield in Washtenaw County, Michigan. He was a member of the 6th Regiment, 5th Brigade of the Michigan Militia. He was appointed sergeant in 1842, lieutenant in 1843, and captain of the unit in 1845.

Frank M. Lansing, a grandson or nephew of Elijah M. Lansing, was born in 1868. He attended Eastman College of Business in Poughkeepsie, New York, graduating in 1886. He served as a dry goods commission merchant until the mid 1890s when he became the proprietor of the Howell Steam Laundry in Howell, Michigan. From 1906 to 1917 he operated an insurance business in the Howell-Brighton area. He resigned in 1917 to become the cashier at the Milford State Bank in Milford, Michigan. During his stay in the Howell-Brighton area, Lansing was active in church and community affairs.

Rosadel Taft Lansing was the wife of Frank M. Lansing. She was an active participant in her husband's insurance business and in church and community affairs.

Daniel Owen Taft, born in 1833, was the father of Rosadel Taft Lansing. Taft resided in or near the village of Oak Grove in Livingston County, Michigan, where he was a farmer and a dealer in farm machinery. He also owned land in Deerfield, Osceola, and Tyrone Townships in Livingston County.


0.66 Cubic Feet (, 1 volume on shelf)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Gift of Charles Barnett.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University Property Rights: Michigan State University

Lansing and Taft Families Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
C. Dahl
July 1981
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US